-Insists metering is Free,no Registration fee
-As Kaduna DISCO denies alleged Reg.fee
-Hints on the rights of the customer
By Frederick Peters, KADUNA.
The Network of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria (NECAN)has organised a forum for Kaduna electric (DISCO) and Customers to ensure that the rights of both consumers and DISCOS are protected in enhancing service delivery.
NECAN however said,the customer has the right to get the best services,and to address a challenge or infraction the customer will first make a written complaint to the DISCOS nearest office, headquarters,the forum and NERC offices and having exhausted these windows then the customer can proceed to court to seek redress.
This was made known by the National Secretary, NECAN,Mr Uket Obonga at the NIGERIA LIGHT IMPROVEMENT THROUGH EDUCATION ( NLITE) CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT FORUM FOR KADUNA on Tuesday.
According to him,the electricity consumer is aggregated into bands A-E and he is “said to be given the minimum of 20 hours of electricity supply each day and this has to be maintained for 30 days for the customer to qualify to pay, adding that, if the area you live is on band A,and the gave you 20 hours in 10 days and the remaining 20 days,and you are not given;you are to raise alarm”
He further gave reasons why they are in Kaduna” we organised this forum to reach out to customers to engage them directly to know what they are going through whether what the(Kaduna Electric) put in paper is right or wrong, so that we can report to the government ”
While lamenting the poor participation of customers in Kaduna,compared to other States across the country, said they were expecting over 500 customers ” but look at the attendance it means the response of they customers here is very poor,we are here to engage you,listen to your complaints,educate you on your rights and obligations in the sector;but many people are not here”he regretted.
He urged the customers not to despair or get discouraged in making formal complaints and follow it to the end saying” people are having results, people having genuine complaints are attended to right here and most customers are not aware that you have to make written complaints,but you have heard today
“The complaints enhancing mechanism says it begins from the nearest customer care unit to you,when you are not satisfied go to the headquarters,if you not satisfied, we have the forum office here in Kaduna, which is the court of first instance in electricity, if are not satisfied write NERC and if not satisfied go to court, drag them to court, that’s what I said, it’s provided for”he maintained
Reacting on metering and allegation on registration fee he said,the Federal government provided 6 million metres and to be given to Nigerians free without any charge or registration fee as alleged by a Kaduna customer against Kaduna electric
” These metres are not for sale and there’s no registration fee of #500 as alleged by a customers,tell the people that you don’t register, you don’t pay money, Federal government gave them free to give to the customers tell Nigerians through your media houses”he reiterated
On the several complaints,he noted complaints they have received several complaints in the course of their tours to states through the” Nigeria Light improvement Through Education” (NLITE) Customer engagement Forum,and the survey gathered will help them achieve the desired result for the overall benefit of the sector and its stakeholders.
Responding the Head of Media and community relations unit,Kaduna electric, Mr Idris Mohammed denied knowledge of the alleged #500 fee for meters in their office saying “0ne customer alleged that somebody asked him to pay 500 hundred naira registration fee;that allegation is new to us,actually, we are hearing it for the first time,so it is unknown to us”
He maintained that”as far as this metering programme is concerned the customer is not supposed to pay a single kobo at the point of installation,nobody should demand and nobody should pay for installations of metres” He however assured that if anyone is found wanting he will be dealth with accordingly “but its obvious that the allegation is unfounded” he added
Reacting to plethora of complaints from customers at the forum about their services,he said “we have received some complaints and before we got out of this hall some are being attended to and some resolved. On complaints of over billing,he said, any one not comfortable with his billing should come forward and the necessary action would be taken to resolve it.
One of complainants,Abubakar Isa Jimada,said he’s complaints include but not limited to outrageous over billing by the Kaduna electric,discrepancies in charges/Billings through the various Bands services couple with low power supply and services, however said” am happy that I have come here and the way that the organisers have presented issues;somethingswe don’t really know about concerning our rights, we now know” he averred